Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to go for the cheap fix.  Especially when it comes to fixtures!

Nashville Wire recently came to this difficult and challenging conclusion with a robotics cell that they had worked on with nexAir and Miller Electric. The team at nexAir/Miller put together a tailored package for Nashville Wire featuring top-of-the-line Panasonic robotics to manage a customized welding program for the customer’s retail display rack line. Nashville Wire decided that they could produce the rotating picture frame welding tooling for the robotic program. However, with everything in place, the specialize robotic welders just couldn’t achieve consistent results.

The problem was that the fixtures were not robust and rigid enough to prevent parts from sagging and trampolining during the welding procedures.  The result was that the welding robotics couldn’t consistently hit their marks to meet the product line needs.

To everyone’s great relief however, Miller Electric  had already experienced the value that Cobb Tool could deliver. Cobb Tool evaluated the cell make up and product line needs to design a lightweight aluminum fixture frame to match the existing robotic programming.  With a servo-controlled precision headstock and customized tailstock, Cobb Tool’s made-to-order picture frame fixture immediately met the robotics requirements. Cobb Tool was also able to tailor the versatility of the tooling to accommodate programming for hundreds of different Nashville Wire products.

It was so successful in fact that within days of the Cobb Tool fixture’s installation, Nashville put in orders with nexAir, Miller Electric and Cobb Tool for three additional robotic welding cells for operations across the South.

The Right Fixtures Actually Sell Robotics

Miller Electric is working with Cobb Tool to create a set of standard fixtures to sell as part of packaged deals with their robotics cells. Their Nashville Wire experience convinced them that Cobb Tool’s fixtures make their robotics shine. Ultimately, the relatively inexpensive addition of a custom fixture to a cell package eliminates all doubts about the value of expensive robotics investments. And these days, with the challenges of finding and retaining skilled craftspeople, robotic  procedures are becoming that much more valuable to manufacturers.